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22.11.02á17:25

NATO AND PARTNERS
The Summit of the CEAP member-states in Prague has been intended to demonstrate the changing nature of this organization and that it is becoming less "alliance" oriented. Indeed, although NATO remains a military core of CEAP, the number of "militarists", in the common sense of the word, in the Council seems to have lessened. That, in turn, makes the countries, which are traditionally quite reserved to participation in the military-political structures, more and more predisposed to their involvement in the activity of CEAP. The level at which such convinced "neutrals" as Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland of Europe and Turkmenistan of Asia were represented at the meeting was quite significant. They sent high-ranking delegations headed by the ministers of foreign affairs and defense to Prague.

Euro-Atlantic community is changing its guidelines making them more corresponding to those of the world community. The Atlantic egocentrism is transforming into Eurasian globalism (don't mix it with "Eurasia" in the manner of Mr.Dugin) and debutants of this process find nothing bad for themselves in it. Ideological confrontation has gone forever, new partners of NATO, including those from post-Soviet area, recognize the perspectives of partnership with this organization based on the common strategy goals, which are ensuring for security and stability, fighting international terrorism, political and religious extremism, countering drug trafficking. These goals are supranational and even such a powerful structure as NATO could hardly deal with them. That is why common efforts and "consolidation" of the states potentials, although different economically and inter-politically but importantly united by one goal, are required to make those goals realize. This fully applies to Central Asia with one substantial thing added which is to secure safe passage of the regional resources to the world market.

Therefore the establishment of the axis of stability there is one of the priorities of the international political and economic centers. Each of the regional state gets quite definite role according to its own capability. As for Turkmenistan it does not contain military terminology. This is to say that the regional role of Turkmenistan is explained by its geographical situation, huge recourse potential and neutral status as a guarantee of transparency in the conduct of foreign policy. All these factors altogether make Turkmenistan a quite important partner of Euro-Atlantic community, especially in present fast changing circumstances. Against this background it is noteworthy that the Western political and military establishments (visits of Donald Rumsfeld and Tommy Franks to Turkmenistan during which certain ways of cooperation with Turkmen border-guard service and defense ministry were suggested) have liven up cooperation with Turkmenistan, the Trans-Afghan pipeline project is getting obvious support, the transit capacity of the country including transportation of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan is used "in full", the cooperation on countering drug trafficking from border-countries is expanding.

"NATO bases in Central Asia" - a nightmare of Soviet generals - has not come true in Turkmenistan. And we, perhaps, don't need them because there are enough military airports in the region. And as for the Euro-Atlantic community it would be beneficial and promising to have Turkmenistan as a political and economical partner, which is predictable, stable, sharing common goals and recognizing common threats. All the more this partnership is welcomed in Turkmenistan.

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Serdar Muradov

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